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  • Day (2), Pisi, Clark, North, Elliott,
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  • Aviva Premiership
  • 28th Dec 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Franklin's Gardens
  • Att: 12,856

Aviva Premiership: Northampton boss Jim Mallinder praised talisman George North

Last updated: 29th December 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

mike ford bath

Mike Ford: Accepts Bath have catching up to do

George North of Northampton

George North: Inspired Saints and scored their sixth try

It's taken him a little bit of time, but he showed why he's a world-class player.

Jim Mallinder
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Jim Mallinder praised George North after the Wales back galvanised Northampton to a 43-25 Aviva Premiership victory over Bath.

North's height and aerial ability exploited Bath's back-three shortcomings, the Wales wing kicking the Saints into gear with visiting full-back Anthony Watson unable to compete.

"George was outstanding," said Mallinder. "After that first 10 to 15 minutes he got us going, he got us on the front foot with his carrying, he got us on the front foot with his high balls.

"And just to see his defensive work in the 80th minute to cut them out there, that was excellent too.

"It's taken him a little bit of time, but he showed why he's a world-class player.

"They (Bath) have got a good back-three with Banahan who is a big lad, but I saw that they were swapping him over a little bit.

"But George North is massive, and he's athletic, so when you kick right and get George up there competing there's not many people who are going to win the ball from there."

Defence

Bath head coach Mike Ford admitted Northampton and Saracens were the Premiership's current standout teams.

His side conceded a run of 11-straight victories, their best sequence in a decade, but Ford still believes Bath can fight for a top-four finish this season.

"Saints and Saracens, they both got bonus-point wins today, and they are probably up above anyone else in the league at the moment," he said.

"Even with the man in the sin-bin I expected us to defend better, and we didn't.

"They scored three tries more or less on the bounce in that first half. To challenge those sides you have to go on a run, which can be done."

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Saturday 20th December
Aviva Premiership
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
15:15Northampton vs Leicester Tigers
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14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
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14:00Bath vs Exeter
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15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
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14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle

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